Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Closes Eight Temporary COVID-19 Hospitals in Yangon

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 14 January 2021

Yangon – Yangon has closed eight temporary hospitals, out of 15, as the number of COVID-19 cases drops in the city.

In mid-September, Myanmar rapidly opened temporary hospitals and converted public housing into COVID-19 hospitals in Yangon as up to 1,900 cases were reported per day.

Myanmar opened about 15 temporary coronavirus hospitals with a capacity of between 500 and 2,000 beds as permanent hospitals began to run out of space.

Since Dec.19, Myanmar has seen a decline in daily COVID-19 cases. Fewer than 1,000 new cases are now being reported per day across the country and Yangon is currently reporting fewer than 200 cases per day.

On Tuesday, more than 2,300 coronavirus patients have been treated at the Yangon’s hospitals, including at a private hospital, Pun Hlaing, according to Yangon’s health authorities.

In a televised briefing on Tuesday evening, Professor Zaw Wai Soe, vice-chairman of the Yangon COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment committee, said Yangon is reporting fewer than 10 COVID-19 deaths over the preceding three days, down from up to 40 deaths per day in previous months.

He said the city could soon return to business under new health restrictions.

The government says it is planning to resume some classes at the University of Medicine in late January and most other classes in February using new teaching techniques, said Professor Zaw Wai Soe.

Myanmar can consider getting back to work under new conditions, he said, adding that everybody needs to take care to prevent another wave of coronavirus.

Despite stay-at-home orders and COVID-19 bans on dining at teashops and restaurants, many employers have resumed operations to fight off bankruptcy as other businesses have closed permanently.

On Wednesday, Myanmar reported 132,260 COVID-19 cases, including 2,902 deaths and 115,621 recoveries, with Yangon reporting new 183 cases. Since March 23, Yangon has reported 85,389 coronavirus cases.

The country’s second hardest-hit city, Mandalay, has reported 15,318 cases, followed by Bago Region with 8,570, Ayeyarwady Region with 5,372, Rakhine State with 4,208 cases and Magwe Region with 3,105.

Myanmar has ordered 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India, commonly known as the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which are due to arrive in Myanmar from next month. Health care staff on the COVID-19 frontline are due to be vaccinated first, followed by older citizens, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Myanmar is also trying to buy COVID-19 vaccines from China, the UK, USA and Russia.

Myanmar is now fourth in terms of COVID-19 cases in Asean countries behind Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

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